[Daredevil](movie:47230) has been one of the most anticipated shows of the year, and it promised to be a gritty, street level show that promised to separate itself from the tone that the films took on. Here I will go in depth regarding the pros and cons of the show, because it nothing is ever perfect, and it will be followed by my score. These are just my thoughts after watching the first season, and I do not expect you to hold the same views as I do.
With that being said, This analysis and review will contain (minor) SPOILERS so be warned before continuing.
Charlie Cox as Daredevil:
You could not have found somebody better to play Daredevil. Everything about him, from the way he talked to how he emoted and the way he was under the mask was perfect. He was truly believable as a lawyer by day and crime fighter by night, and when he talked about how he wanted to kill even though he never had and when he was battling that dichotomy within himself, you believed it, and all of the credit goes to Cox’s performance. Without a good Daredevil, the show would have fallen a part, but he held it together and delivered a magnificent performance.
This show did a great job at developing each character and giving us insights into their heads and their personality traits. When the season started, the only character I actually liked and was attached to was Matt Murdoch. I did not care for Foggy, or Karen or even Wesley. However, as the show grew, so did these characters and it is a tribute to the showrunners for developing these characters as well as they did. When Wesley was killed, I actually felt bad about it because of how much the relationship between him and Wilson Fisk was set up.
The action in this series was brutal, intense and everything we expected it to be. Daredevil was portrayed as simply a man, and when he got hit, he bled. That just made his triumphs even more resonant with the viewers. Too many times, whether it be in TV or films, the hero is portrayed as invincible and they are able to overcome anything and nothing really hurts them (somehow The Fast & Furious series has found a way to make that work, but that’s a different discussion), and when you treat a hero like that, then when they eventually triumph, we as an audience don’t care because we expected it all along. In this show, they showed how human he was under the mask, and I appreciated that.
Consistencies in Tone:
With this show, I appreciated how the overall tone and fell throughout the series stayed consistent. The jokes that were placed and said all fit within the context of the story, and it all worked to create something special. Too often with films in the MCU, the jokes tend to feel forced and unfitting for the situations that the characters find themselves in, but that was not the case in Daredevil. This was a dark and bruiting series, but when there were moments of levity, they all fit within the context of what was going on. It may seem like a small thing, but this consistency in tone and feel helped tell a great story.
Inconsistencies with Murdoch’s abilities:
When the show started, I thought that they were doing a great job at showing Matt’s disability and how he gets around that to do what he does. But then as the show went on, they basically treated the character as if he was not blind at all, and that he was faking it as Matt Murdoch the lawyer. That annoyed me a bit, because they did not explain or demonstrate his abilities well enough to have him doing and acting in the ways that he did.
For instance, in episode 12 Murdoch was flipping and jumping on rooftops chasing a car. Are you telling me that they set his character up well enough to explain how he knew exactly when to jump, how he was supposed to contort his body and flip around and how he knew exactly where everything was? REALLY!? At that point I stopped believing that he was actually blind. I understand that he had that whole fire vision thing going on (which they demonstrated for all but 2 seconds in an earlier episode), but by the show treating him as if he was not blind later on in the season, it took something away from it and hurt the show as a whole.
This is simply a preference thing with me, because in interviews regarding the show, Vincent D'Onofrio has stated that they were portraying him as a child, basically. Well, I simply did not like that approach. Everything about him was childish and when he didn’t get his way he was constantly throwing hissy fits that seemed out of character for somebody who was supposed to be in control of everything.
Also, the show did not do a good enough job explaining how somebody as childish and immature as Kingpin was able to rise to power and become as wealthy as he did, and why he held so much power. It was hard for me to believe that somebody like that would rise to power and stay there, and I did not understand why people actually took him seriously. If the show explained that, then I may have been fine with how the character was portrayed, but they simply had one flashback to his childhood where he killed his father, and that was not enough for me to believe that somebody like him would be able to ascend to the top like that.
Yes, I know that I also had this in my pros, but there are also some aspects of certain action scenes that I did not necessarily enjoy. For instance, at times they implemented the shaky cam technique, and when you mix that with the fact that most of them took place during the night, and it was hard to tell what was going on at times. During other scenes, the fights were well choreographed and show, however, they felt inauthentic at times. For instance, there were instances where Daredevil just did a flip kick, or a back flip kick or something like that, but it looked like it was staged and he was on a wire doing these stunts. It didn’t feel real, at times. Again, a majority of the time the action was well executed and brutal, but at other times it simply was not done as well as I would have liked.
Karen Page's Back Story:
This is a small, nit picky complaint, but throughout the whole season it seemed like they were teasing Karen's back story and her history, but we never went completely in depth with her, and there were certain character elements with her that felt unfinished. I'm sure in upcoming seasons and possibly in other Marvel Netflix shows we will get to understand her character a little better, but she seemed a bit underdeveloped and the way the season ended felt a bit underwhelming due to the fact that we did not get a full resolution to her character arc. Again, this will probably get resolved in upcoming seasons and shows, but it still felt a bit underwhelming as the season ended.
I could list more pros and cons, but those were the major ones that truly jumped out at me while I was watching the first season. I could list more, like how Clare/Night Nurse would just randomly appear, and then leave for extended amounts of time, or how I thought Vincent D'Onofrio did an excellent job at portraying Kingpin even though I was not a fan of the way they portrayed him. Some episodes were fantastic, while others seemed to drag, and the last two episodes were a bit underwhelming. I could go on and on, but you get the idea.
Also, just adding this on there, but I loved the actual suit that he gets at the end, but hated the way the mask looked on his face. Hopefully they will fix the mask in upcoming seasons and appearances.
Overall, I would give the show a 7.5/10. It was a very good show, and even borderline great at times, but certain aspects of the show held it back for me.
Leave your own thoughts on the show in the comments below.